Final: Boise State 55, NIU 7
Oh, hello dominant Bronco team...where've you been? Glad you could make it back before the new year. If you missed it...Boise State didn't just beat "the next Boise State" in San Diego over the last couple of hours...they might have set the perception of the Huskie program back a few years. Three plays. That's all it took for Boise State to take their first lead of the game and they never looked back...even shaking off a few potential momentum-shifting plays by the Huskies early to take complete control. It seemed over by half, but Bronco fans were wise to be wary of this 8-5 Huskie team. Turns out, the Broncos were just better today...way, way better.
Brett Rypien set a Poinsettia Bowl record with 29 completions and finished his night with 377 yards and 3 TDs with one (harmless) INT. Jeremy McNichols had 189 all-purpose yards and 3 TDs of his own. The defense? Well...I guess you could say they did alright as well. The Bronco D seemingly took out every bit of their frustration for some late season losses on the Huskies. NIU had 33 total yards in the contest. THIRTY. THREE. NIU rushed for -5 yards to Boise State's 277. NIU QB Ryan Graham netted just 38 passing yards and completed just 7 of his 21 attempts. All told, the Broncos outgained the Huskies 654 yards to 33. That's a mighty fine benchmark for domination.
Kamalei Correa...widely reported to be departing for the NFL...made himself a nice highlight tape for scouts. He was the Defensive Player of the game after finishing with 4 tackles, 2 sacks, 2.5 TFLs, and a forced fumble. Tyler Gray led all defenders with 7 stops and recovered two fumbles (one that he caused) to boot.
Brett Rypien was the Offensive MVP for the Broncos and below is one small reason why—Rypien finished his season with 20 TDs and just 8 INTs and eclipsed the 3,000 yard season mark before the first quarter was over.
How about a fun stat from stat-man Jay Tust?
And one more palate-cleansing "they like us again" tweet from Bruce Feldman
Can't recall ever seeing one team dominate another in a bowl the way #BoiseState is today. Have outgained NIU 613-32. Mercy.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 24, 2015